New ventures springing up across the district
- Credit: Brewhouse
With signs of spring and positivity around us, I am so pleased to hear about new businesses opening up, with more on the way. I hope to bring you news of them all over the next few months as they are allowed to open – we have new bars, a deli, brunch spot, salad café and a burger restaurant, just waiting to open fully. We also have new branches of Pudding Stop and Nonno’s, so more on those soon!
Opening a new business during a pandemic takes a lot of courage, but that is exactly what Lester and Sue Adams have done.
I know the villagers of Wheathampstead have been delighted that they have opened their beautiful coffee shop up on the hill. And it has been a labour of love, with Lester and Sue doing the refit of the Grade II listed building themselves.
Brewhouse opened in November and has been doing a steady trade in take-out coffees, teas, bakes, toasties, sandwiches and more, for those working and living nearby, as well as walkers and cyclists.
I spoke to Lester about how it has been and he said the welcome has been wonderful – people want to support local and get out of the house. Kids are enjoying the home-made milkshakes, builders are coming in for ciabattas and wraps, and everyone is buying the cakes.
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Lester bakes most of the bakes and cakes himself on site – his chocolate brownies are by far the bestseller.
He explained that his ‘snickerthon’ is made with his own home-made nougat and caramel, which shows dedication! The bakes vary each week, but there are always cookies, blondies, brownies, croissants and more. There are always gluten-free and vegan options (blueberry croissants are a popular vegan choice).
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I bought an excellent piece of Bakewell tart, with cherry compote and glace cherries inside, and a really good flavour of almonds, with a generous amount of almond flakes on top. It was one of the best I’ve ever tried (and a generous slice too!). They also do Florentines, Victoria sponge (very good), large macaroons, flapjacks and oat and raisin cookies – something for everyone.
Coffee is their own blend, made by Hemel Hempstead-based Smiths of London. Lester told me about how they worked with them to create their own blend of beans, so definitely worth trying that. They also do a range of teas, and milks, including soya, almond and oat.
If you want something savoury, they do a good range of toasties and ciabattas, with tuna and the goat’s cheese and caramelised onion being very popular. They also do flatbread wraps. We had to wait outside for a few minutes to prevent any overlap with customers inside, which is very sensible, but we were served quickly and with friendly service.
It will be great when they can open up the inside – there are four separate areas, including a nice nook in the window, with a flamingo watching over you, as well as a room with a large fireplace, sofas and cheerful artworks. There are also a couple of tables outside.
The plan is to still offer takeaway, and perhaps to open up the basement area, which will be handy for walkers and cyclists, and there are bike racks ready and waiting. You will have earned your cake cycling up the hill!
Brewhouse is open every day. Mondays-Saturdays 9am-4.30pm, Sundays 9.30am-4pm.